Hey Kyle, My name is Ryan Rinn and I work at Storefront for Community Design in Richmond, VA. My apologies for being absent with feedback on your process. After reading through your blog, looking at your proposed project, site, and background reading interpretations I think you have given a lot of thought to the way that you, as an architect, would be engaging with the site and the client(s). In a couple of your posts I also see your thought process toward the end users of the space and the surrounding neighborhood demographics. The case you have made for two suitable locations and the way you have responded to feedback about the reality of the different spaces being built out are well considered. Landing on the Detroit Motor Transportation Garage makes sense.
I’m an urban planner by trade and thus look at site development processes through the lens that you touched on in your first post, your post about advocacy, and one that really comes through in this post — the importance of community engagement. You mention that Arts and Scraps would be smart to spend time working with the local community and schools, their clients, when considering off-hour uses of the site. I too believe, that you, as the architect for the site, benefit from from field work with the community to see what the other needs in the area could be fulfilled with open community spaces uses you propose. Having even more options to present to Arts and Scraps for complimentary businesses, nonprofits, and community uses for the site could make it more appealing than it already is to them, their funders, and the surrounding community.
I do like the ideas of food trucks and a flea market for the outdoor space. Are there other complimentary uses for the outdoor and indoor spaces that could assist Arts and Scraps with paying rent, furthering workforce development initiatives, skill sharing and job training that would benefit the surrounding community as well? I’m sure that you have thought about these things and am curious as to your thoughts on other nonprofits or partnerships that could make these spaces more of a round the clock hub for activity and progress in the community.
I can tell that you have put a lot of time and thought into this site proposal and that you have been thinking about the many different stakeholders that you, as the architect, need to consider in this process. Keep up the good work.